Monday, August 27, 2012

Popeye is not the only Spinach eater!

Spinach is one of those things that is really only good if it's cooked fresh. Or in my case, Fresh Express. My kids love when I cook spinach, to my surprise. My husband... Not so much.

When I was a kid our spinach, like almost of our vegetables, came out of a can. The one with Popeye on the front with his squinty eye, wooden pipe and big muscles. Popeye was a Sailor, so I'm sure with months at a time out on the water, just about anything tasted good... Even a can of cold spinach!

Popeye was pretty impressive on tv. The way he would squeeze open that can of spinach when he was just at the point of being clobbered by Bruno, then BAM!!! He was a Fightin' Machine, kicking Bruno's butt up and down our floor model TV screen!

Even with all his sudden strength, he didn't have me fooled! Oh no! Spinach was my least favorite vegetable! Really, they all were, as I didn't like vegetables at all, but spinach was outright YUCKY!!

I can't say the same for my little brother. He loved his spinach! He'd run around the house thinking he had the strength of 10 lions after dinner, while I sat, after being told to finish my plate, stuffing small pieces in my napkin, under the bones left on my plate, or held tightly in my hand until my mom felt I'd "eaten" enough to get up from the table.

Boy did I wish we'd had a dog!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What a day!

My Annihilation exercise class was probably the easiest thing I've done today!

It's been one of those days where my brain was on non-stop and I went from one conversation to another some within minutes of each other, some overlapping.

Oh what a tense family I have right now.  Things have been crazy lately as my dad's health deteriorates by the day now.  Knowing this, everyone is concerned, and rightfully so.  As we have been working to get him to Michigan to our hometown to stay with his family during this trying time, everyone is becoming tense and even sensitive towards one another, towards words that are spoken.  Assumptions are being made without speaking to others.  There has been tons of he-say-she-say and I'm becoming more and more stressed with every call from the east coast.

So, I called a meeting.  A conference call to include my dad's closest relatives, his brothers and sisters, his kids, his mother and his girlfriend.

I sent a mass text to everyone I wanted involved asking everyone to please be on the call and letting them know that I want to talk about everyone's opinions, concerns, and expectations, as well as discuss his financials and medical issues.  I made sure to include his girlfriend because much of the confusion had to do with her and it needed to be talked about.  Also, she is his caregiver, the one he has been with for 15 years, the one who knows everything about him, his well-being, his finances...

Boy!  You woulda thought I'd just declared war on China!  
I got several phone calls throughout the day prior to the scheduled call asking why I am having this call and did I think it would be a good idea.  Everyone was afraid of the turn out, afraid of what others might say, afraid of what they themselves might say that might offend someone. A few told me that they would NOT be on the call at all.  Truth be told, I was quite afraid that there would be some fireworks going off myself!  After all, tensions these last few days have been pretty high.  I told everyone that we needed to get everything out in the open, speak honestly about everything and ask the questions we wanted to know about my dad.  We needed solutions and not go by here-say.  I assured them that it would not get out of hand.  (... while secretly praying to my God that things didnt!)

The conference call was possibly the best thing we could have done as a family in this situation.

I have to thank my husband for stepping in and moderating the conference for me, reminding me what subjects I wanted to discuss and taking notes for me.  I have been under a lot of stress and he was there for me.

We talked about the issues and were able to ask the questions necessary to really achieve the goal of coming together for my dad.  Everyone is very concerned.  Everyone is very hurt.  Everyone wants what's best for my dad.  And by the end of the chat, tears were flowing.  I could hear the sniffles, there was a lot of grieving.  Me, I couldn't hold back the tears.  I'm normally not the one to cry, but this is my father we are talking about.  Even I have a heart. 

This worked well.  I think doing a conference more often rather than allowing things to get so confusing might help keep the stress levels down. 

After the conference call, my phone still rang, but a little less and I was able to answer it without feeling afraid of what was going to be said next.  One thing about my family is that although we might not always agree, we can eventually talk things over and get through the tough times.  Family is forever.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Strong President Endures So Many Thrown Stones

It bewilders me how much hate is thrown at President Obama.  If you know me, then you know that I am a hugs Obama supporter.  It's sad how he continues to get blamed for everything that is wrong with America.  

If you stop and think, we were in a huge debt prior to him being elected, one that was said would take more than one presidential term to fix.  

If you recall, it is the Republicans that have pushed back every effort that has been taken to try to improve anything about the situation he inherited.

Why?  Not because these weren't proposals that might help get the CHANGE that he campaigned on, but because by blocking every proposal and every attempt for change, the President would never be able to accomplish anything, and would look like a failure.  They counted on this to assure that President Obama would not be re-elected.  Silly thing is, with all of the blame being thrown in his direction, who holds the Senate?

Chew on that....

With a country divided by it's government, CHANGE will never come.  It seems that if there wasn't so much bitterness and spite, the Reps could accept that President Obama is the President of the United States, the man in change, the country's leader.  He won the country's vote fair and square.  Regardless of the differences of opinions, he deserves the support of his country.  Other countries are sitting back looking at us like fools as we can't hold our own democracy together, but want to be considered leaders of the free world.  Other countries are laughing at America's inability to come together and be what our forefathers intended us to be.   

What brought this thought process on, you ask?  It has been quite a while since I have spoke on politics.  Well, it was this picture posted to the White House FB page and some of the comments made underneath.  This is suppose to be a positive image of the President doing something great.  Speaking with Prime Minister of India to express condolences for recent shootings is something that shows humility and concern.  The thing is, those who are negative have no idea how many leaders of other countries call our President when things happen.  This is something you'd think Presidents are suppose to do.

The comments are always so hateful and bitter.  So bitter sometimes that they are downright scary.  Sometimes I wonder how the First Family endures such hatred in the media.  How do words and comments like these make Michelle and Barrack feel at the end of the day.  No one's heart is made of stone.  I would image that all these thrown stones have to cause lots of cracks in a person.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So Ends the 104 Days of Summer Vacation

It's already 7:30 in the morning.  My intentions have been to wake up earlier because the kids are starting school in 2 days, but the earliest I have managed to get out of the bed is 7am.  I need at least another 30 minutes to be on their school time.  It's times like these when I wish I was in one of those regions of the world where school didn't start until the end of Augusta, or even early September like it use to when I was a kids.  

Are there still places where school starts after Labor Day?

I remember when I was a kid how excited I was to start school.  The new clothes, the new shoes, the new back pack with the most popular cartoon character on it.  Remember when pencil boxes where actually boxes?  I'd take mine to school, always something colorful, filled with a pack of pencils, a box of crayons, a pencil sharpener...  I'd leave for school decked out in my new gear, with a fresh new hair-do and my shiny new Cabbage Patch lunch box! 

Those were the days!  The days when summer seemed to last forever, but we were never ready for it to me over.  The days when the days didn't end until the sun set at 9:30 at night and we were allowed to stay out an soak up every minute of it. 

Here in AZ, the sun never stays out past 7:30, but man does it Good Morning way too early!

Contrary to the fact that the summer seems to be ending quite early, the kids are excited about going back.  Apparently taking our vacation to the Grand Canyon days after the last day of school made the summer "BOOOOOORING"!  Apparently there's simply "nothing to doooo" all day long and "it's too hooooooot" to play outside  (It is Arizona, so I'd have to agree).  I've got three kiddos who would rather be in a classroom all day learning something, but who am I to complain!

Friday, August 3, 2012